American Recycler News, Inc.


Germany leads Europe with market-driven recycling

There are roughly six billion active cell phones in the world. The International Telecommunications Union predicts that by 2014, there will be more in-use cell phones globally than there are people. This is already the reality in Germany where the population is 82 million and the number of active mobile phones is over 107 million.

Though strict recycling policies and consumer online services for mobile phone trade-in have been active in Germany for years, little more than five percent of the phones replaced by new purchases are refurbished or recycled. Phobio Germany seeks to promote the responsible and sustainable reuse of mobile devices by leading Europe in the area of incentivized mobile trade-in.

Phobio Germany is providing consumer trade-in services at the point-of-sale for retailers, which is a model that has been active and successful in the U.S. for few years. As most any economist knows, “the world runs on incentives,” and there are limits to the extent that mere goodwill can drive green initiatives. Phobio Germany has taken the best practices, software and procedures for incentivized device trade-in, based on Phobio North America’s platform, and customized it for German retailers.

Through this trade-in model, retailers offer their customers immediate in-store credit for trading in their old handsets which will be refurbished or recycled. For retailers, the service increases store traffic and customer retention, creating the ideal opportunity for cross-selling.

One of Phobio Germany’s most notable retail partners in this endeavor is Brodos AG, a distributor and retailer of telecommunication products. Brodos AG has a franchising system of major retailers, including the company’s independent mobile chain my-eXtra, and supplies mobile phones and enhancements to about 5,000 European dealers, of which 1,000 are Germany based.